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Monster Hunter (Ranger 1, CRB p171) gives you a minor benefit if you critically succeed on a Recall Knowledge check to identify a creature.

Recall Knowledge only says

The GM determines the DCs for such checks and which skills apply.

I feel if I spend a feat for such a small benefit1, the success should be almost guaranteed.
On first level a typical Ranger's Nature skill is around 5, all other identification capable skills are likely below that. At the same time an Easy Untrained DC is 8, the critical threshold is about 10 higher than "guaranteed".

Do I miss something, or is this a very weak feat, at least until quite high levels?


1) it has 90% chance not to make any difference for you, and it takes a party of 7 to get this down below 50%

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's worth noting that the benefit of Monster Hunter probably has more to do with action economy (coupling Recall Knowledge to Hunt Prey) than the off chance of a +1 to hit with one attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Nov 22 '19 at 4:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso, yes, spending an action on something that is close to useless would be even worse. But why would I spend a feat to do something quickly if it is still unlikely to succeed, and even if it does, the effect is minor? \$\endgroup\$ – András Nov 22 '19 at 8:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that this is the smaller of the benefits of the feat, the larger / more useful being that you "gain" an action as you can simultaneously Hunt Prey and Recall Knowledge. If you face more than one of the same monster, you might get 2-3 free RK rolls in the same fight. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Nov 22 '19 at 10:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm confused which Action you consider close to useless. I would guess Hunt Prey (+2 Perception and for Tracking and more easily able to shoot at them from further away) because I feel like the Recall Knowledge benefits are pretty well known (no pun intended). \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Nov 22 '19 at 13:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso the +1 from Monster Hunter on a CS Recall Knowledge is very minor. What are other benefits? \$\endgroup\$ – András Nov 22 '19 at 22:23
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Depends on your stats and proficiency, but best case is about 10-25%

For the most part, the difficulty is based on the level of the monster using this chart. As you can see, it is anywhere from level + 14 to level +25. This can be further modified by creature rarity, with uncommon creatures adding +2, and rare adding +4 or 5, and so on.

So, in order to crit, you will need to keep your proficiency level maxed and your Wis high. At level 1 (+1), with a trained skill (+2), a 14 Wis (+2) (using your +5 Nature skill comment), reaching the DC 15 check for a common creature would require a D20 roll of 10, and critting it would thus require a roll of 20, for a 5% chance of critting. If you get expert at level 3, you can crit on a 19 until level 6, and this fluctuation continues (master at 7 allows you to crit on a 18, etc). If you invest more into your starting Wis, then you can bump your odds by 5% (16 is the max Wis you can start with as a Ranger). If you have the Outwit Hunter's Edge (thanks Ifusaso), you can up your odds by an additional 10% due to the +2 to Recall Knowledge checks it grants against your prey (and since Monster Hunter is triggered when using Hunt Prey, that's always going to be the case).

This assumes that the GM uses the DC by level chart referenced or the DCs suggested in the Monstrous Manual. Also, this assumes equal leveled monsters. Your odds go up with lower level monsters (which you may encounter often, but might be easy enough to defeat that using an action in this way might not be worthwhile in most cases) and down with higher level monsters.

To summarize, for equal level creatures, if you start with a 14 Wis and always up your Nature proficiency at the earliest opportunity, you need to roll between a 17 and a 20 to crit (5-20% chance), depending on the level you and the monster are at. If you start with a 16 Wis, you can up that by 5% (10-25% chance). If you are an Outwit Hunter, you can crit 20-35% of the time. This is of course worse for any skill (Occult, Arcane, Religion) that you are not keeping up on as diligently. And, since it is only a single action to Hunt Prey, you can do this every turn with your third action if you like (usually in lieu of a third attack that has little chance of hitting).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to sum it up, the feat has a 0.15 * 0.15 chance to improve your attack. A bit over 2 percent. Even if it happened on a normal (not critical) success, it would be under 10%. \$\endgroup\$ – András Nov 22 '19 at 9:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András How do you get 0.15 * 0.15? You don't have to critically succeed twice, just once. IE you roll a 19-20 Recall Knowledge, you get the +1. (on a regular Success it would be 50% more likely) \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Nov 22 '19 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso it should have been 0.1. It is the chance of the +1 actually mattering, turning a failure into a success, or a success into critical. \$\endgroup\$ – András Nov 22 '19 at 16:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @András In almost all cases, a roll of 20 will result in a critical success, so, for no action commitment (Monster Hunter is a free action as part of Hunt Prey, you have at least a 5% chance to grant yourself and any number of allies a +1 to their next attack roll, with no specified time limit to use the bonus. That +1 is a +5% chance to hit/crit, so yes, 5% chance for a +5% averages out to a .25% average bonus, but that is worst case. Frequently it will be better (85% of levels have better odds, and it is better against lower level targets), and your team benefits from that +1 multiple times. \$\endgroup\$ – cpcodes Nov 22 '19 at 20:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Outwit Hunter's Edge might be worth including. +2 to Recall Knowledge checks against the target of you Hunt Prey (which they are if you use this Feat). \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Nov 23 '19 at 13:08

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